Are multivitamins beneficial?
In healthy people, most scientific evidence indicates that multivitamin supplements do not prevent cancer, heart disease, or other ailments, and regular supplementation is not necessary. Are multivitamins beneficial for specific groups of people who may benefit from supplements? Of course, for example, people with poor nutrition or those at high risk of macular degeneration. And, according to my Mom (and probably yours) for me and you.
A multivitamin is a preparation intended to serve as a dietary supplement with vitamins, dietary minerals, and other nutritional elements. These are available in the form of tablets, capsules, pastilles, powders, liquids, or injectable formulations. Other than injectable formulations (which are only available and administered under medical supervision), multivitamins are recognized as a category of food.
If you eat a varied and balanced diet, you may already be receiving all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your body needs from healthy foods – and healthy foods are the best source of vitamins to begin with. But in today’s fast-paced society, even those who practice good eating habits may still benefit from taking a multivitamin.
Types of vitamins
There are many nutritional supplement options available to you. Your best option is to choose a formula designed to meet your needs. There is a vitamin available for just about every need. The most common types of vitamins are:
- Women’s vitamins are for women between the ages of 18 and 50 and are designed to ensure proper nutrition and to support the female reproductive system. Women’s vitamins usually contain extra iron, calcium, and folic acid.
- Men’s vitamins contain less iron than women’s and offer increased concentrations of specific ingredients such as lycopene, a antioxidant that may help to prevent prostate cancer and heart disease.
- Vitamins for seniors are geared toward those over the age of 50. Most older individuals have a reduced capacity to absorb certain nutrients effectively. Levels of vitamin B6, B12, and D can do with a boost and additional calcium can help keep bones strong.
- Children’s vitamins can be a mixed challenge. Getting a child to eat vegetables or take anything that resembles medicine can be a battle. There is a variety of appealing chewable vitamin options for children.
Certain vitamins and minerals can be toxic to children at adult dosages. The levels of some children’s vitamins are less than those found in adult varieties. Some exclude potentially harmful vitamins entirely, such as iron, which could lead to organ failure and death in cases of severe overdose.
Multivitamins vary from product line to product line and according to the specific type of vitamin. Consulting with a healthcare provider is recommended if you suspect you have a vitamin deficiency or if you are unsure of the most suitable multivitamin for your personal needs.
Essential vitamins and nutrients
Vitamin C may offer health benefits in stress relief, colds, stroke, and skin aging. Vitamin C may also improve macular degeneration, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin A is possibly effective for breast cancer, cataracts, measles, and the ability to see in low-light conditions.Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is effective for metabolic disorders.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) plays an important role in the body, it is needed to keep your skin, eyes, nerves, and red blood cells healthy.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) can boost levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides. Niacin also modestly lowers bad LDL cholesterol.
Vitamin B6 is used for preventing and treating low levels of pyridoxine (pyridoxine deficiency) and the anemia that may result. It is also used for heart disease, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), depression, and many other conditions. Vitamin B6 may be effective for: seizures and for sideroblastic anemia (a condition in which the body makes abnormal red blood cells that build up iron).
Vitamin B12 may be effective for (Imerslund-Grasbeck disease (a rare inherited condition marked by vitamin B12 deficiency).
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) may be effective for Pantothenic acid deficiency.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) may be likely effective for end-stage renal disease or ESRD (serious kidney disease), hyperhomocysteinemia (high amounts of homocysteine in the blood, toxicity caused by the drug methotrexate), and neural tube birth defects (birth defects of the brain and spine).
Vitamin D2/D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps you absorb calcium and phosphorus and is important for building and keeping strong bones. Vitamin D is used to treat and prevent bone disorders (such as rickets, osteomalacia) and is naturally made by the body when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin E is possibly effective for Alzheimer disease, anemia of chronic disease, beta-thalassemia, extravasation, dysmenorrhea. glomerulosclerosis , G6PD deficiency , granuloma annulare , Huntington disease , intracranial hemorrhage, intraventricular hemorrhage, male infertility, nitrate tolerance, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH, and build up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol, Parkinson disease, photoreactive keratectomy, PMS, physical performance in elderly adults, scarring of tissue caused by radiation therapy, Rheumatoid arthritis, sunburn, tardive, and uveitis.
Vitamin K may be effective for hemorrhagic disease, hypoprothrombinemia, Vitamin K-dependent clotting factors deficiency or VKCFD, and reversing the blood thinning effects of warfarin.
Calcium may be effective for dyspepsia, hyperkalemia, hypocalcemia, and kidney failure.
Chromium is possibly effective for diabetes and hyperlipidemia.
Zinc may be likely effective for diarrhea and Wilson disease.
Copper may be possibly effective for Osteoporosis.
Potassium helps your cells, kidneys, heart, muscles, and nerves work properly.
Magnesium may be effective for constipation, indigestion, and seizures in women with pre-eclampsia. Magnesium is possibly effective for nerve pain in people with cancer, Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), cluster headaches, Fibromyalgia, Osteoporosis, pain after surgery, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Selenium may be possibly effective for autoimmune thyroiditis, Kashin-Beck disease. pre-eclampsia.
Iodine is likely effective for radiation exposure.
Iron may be effective for anemia of chronic disease, anemia, low iron levels in women who are pregnant.
Multivitamins vary from product line to product line and according to the specific type of vitamin. Consulting with a healthcare provider is recommended if you suspect you have a vitamin deficiency or if you’re unsure of the most suitable multivitamin for your personal needs.
Natural vs. synthetic vitamins
For example, the body is able to absorb more Vitamin E from natural sources than it is synthetic ones. And synthetic forms of B12 are more easily absorbed by the body than the natural forms of B12.
It comes down to personal preference and your specific needs.
Prices vary drastically and are dependent on factors such as quality, quantity, and type. Natural vitamins generally cost significantly more than synthetic vitamins, and you can expect to pay a little extra for the major brands.
Synthetic vitamins are by far the most cost-effective. Natural vitamins can cost more; but for many, the potential benefits are well worth it. Why is there such a price difference between natural and synthetic vitamins? Many people assume that the cost hike of natural vitamins is a sign of their superiority but the truth is that synthetic vitamins are simply cheaper to manufacture.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health: “… many people don’t eat the healthiest of diets. That’s why a multivitamin can help fill in the gaps and may have added health benefits.”
Consider taking a multivitamin if any of these statements are true:
- You are unable to obtain adequate vitamins through your diet alone.
- You are over the age of 60.
- You smoke or drink.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Half of all American adults—including 70 percent of those age 65 and older—take a multivitamin or another vitamin or mineral supplement regularly. The total price tag exceeds $12 billion per year—money that Johns Hopkins nutrition experts say might be better spent on nutrient-packed foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
Vitamins were obtained only from food until the 1930s when commercially made supplements of certain vitamins became available. The U.S government also began fortifying foods with specific nutrients to prevent deficiencies common at the time, for example, adding iodine to salt to prevent goiter, and adding folic acid to grain products to reduce birth defects during pregnancy.
Are multivitamins beneficial? The answer is yours to make, based on your diet, lifestyle and health concerns. Talk with your primary health care provider and a nutritionist, make an informed decision.
For more information on quite possibly the best multivitamin on the planet, click the link below!
Questions and Comments are always welcome!
Walking the Path of Peace, Sanders